I work on the Manuscript Project Website daily; increasing the volume of information, adding manuscripts &c.
I am close to having all titles of Chatterton's works listed (11/01/2021), with each title eventually being a link to an image of the original manuscript or, if the manuscript is not available, the link will be to the first printing of the work.
Do note that many of the titles are still waiting for the link to go live but will be updated as and when the MS. or First Printing is uploaded.
The update plan is as follows:
1. Complete basic layout - done 11/02/2021.
2. Work on all pages to check and increase information - Ongoing.
3. Prepare images of manuscripts or first printings for uploading - Ongoing
I like to do the above online, in real time, rather than in the back office; this allows anyone interested in Chatterton to see these exciting documents as soon as I have them ready.
If you would like to collaborate by photographing manuscripts local to you, or have any questions or suggestions, do let me know via the blog.
E: chatterton.bristows.tragedy dot com.
Early Transcript of Songe to Ella
The Aim of the Project
Are Widely Distributed
Making it extremely Difficult
To View or Study Them
We either live too far away
Or don't have the accreditation
That gets us into the
Hallowed Libraries of Massy Knowledge
The Project Aims to Ensure that
High Quality & Zoomable Images
Of all Chattertonian Manuscripts
Are Freely Available
On the Project Website
For Study and Collaboration
Or Just for the Joy of it!
This is why the Project needs
To Photograph Documents Local to Them.
All you need is a Smartphone;
Send me an email if you are able to help.
Even Horace Walpole's 'Shade,'
Due to the Collecting Zeal of
Lefty-Lewis*, has its hands
On Chatterton Manuscripts.
I have Uploaded Numerous Manuscripts
I still have hundreds to Collate, Crop,
Adjust, Delete, Prepare & Upload
So many of the Manuscripts in Bristol
Are due to George Catcott
A Friend and Mentor to Chatterton.
He seems Never to have let
The Quill Pen fall
From his Inky Fingers
Spare a thought for me
One of Catcott's Copy Books
Which Contains over 500 pages
Took weeks to Photograph
& Prepare for Uploading.
Chatterton Manuscripts Beyond Bristol
Will Often be One or Two Pages
Much less Onerous.
Bristol & London are Key Locations
Universities in England & America
Have the most important Manuscripts.
Do let me know if I can help your
Chatterton Researches in Any way.
The Dreaded Inferno
The Lost Manuscripts
Fire the Great Destroyer
Remember Notre Dame 2019
Remember the Cutty Sark 2007
Remember Windsor Castle 1992
Note Birmingham Library 1879
Fire Consumes too Often
To Remain Complacent
Get Thee to the Cloud!
Consumed by Fire
Daniel Wilson's 1869 biography of Chatterton
Mentions the 1860 fire in Kerslake's Shop, Bristol
It destroyed "Manuscript Chattertoniana"
Collected by J. M. Gutch, and William Tyson
And further augmented by Thomas Kerslake'.
It also consumed the famous Fust manuscript.
Then, 20 years later, on October 9th, 1881
The 'Great Fire' in Canynges' House, Bristol
Destroyed the stock of
C. T. Jefferies, Printer & Bookseller.
Fortunately the Fabulous Canynges fireplace
Shown in the painting by E. H. Parkman
Survived the fire - See Below
Chattertonian Documents &
A.S.Catcott's Fossil Collection
Were destroyed when bombs landed
On Temple Church and Bristol Museum.
Should be Digitised ASAP!
Opt for the Cheap and Easy Answer
Use an Apple iPhone - it's good in low light
The Images on this Website
Show what can be Achieved
The Thomas Chatterton
Is a Huge Undertaking
A Living Thing!
Growing and Changing
Adding & Deleting
As it Rolls Along.
I think, therefore I am verbose!
However, verbosity can be wearing.
So I am experimenting a little
By centering the text that I write.
This helps me cut back on the padding
(or does it?)
Which is the curse of documentaries on TV
I call it the Bends syndrome.
I have to say
So you know where you stand with me
I have a Real Fondness
For all Chattertonian Writers
Biographers Editors and Chancers
Whether their work be large or small
Derivative or Otherwise - at least they had a go!
As I write this I am surrounded by an array
Of Chatterton related books and periodicals
All of which I have used to work up the project
So many books and so many writers
Yet the Project is Driven, by two writers
Meyerstein, via 'A Life of Thomas Chatterton,'
Taylor, via 'The Complete Works of Thomas Chatterton'
A book I must mention is
'Thomas Chatterton 1752-1770,
An Annotated Bibliography'
by Jean C. Rowles, A.L.A,
It's a wonderful piece of work.
(I would love to hear from Jean one day)
Thanks to Dawn Dyer of (Bristol Library)
For telling me of this work.
I know that I go against the norm
With my liking for Dix, but with good reason
It was 1837 that brought me to Chatterton
I bought it for £5 from a bricks & mortar shop
In Bristol in the 1970s - Those were the Days
Yes Dix clouded the Chatterton story but
It is easy to discover the rights and wrongs of it
In any case, Meyerstein resolves the issues for us
I look at it like this: Dix was to Chatterton
What Hofmann was to the Mormons
Beyond Annoying in so many ways
But at least Dix didn't kill anyone
And he certainly Stirred things up - Just a Bit!
Over the last few years
I have taken thousands of photographs of
Manuscripts Postcards Newspapers Magazines
All sorts of Artifacts and Ephemera
I am Lucky that two of my Favourite Places
Bristol Reference Library, and Bristol Archives,
The source of most of my images to-date
Are Local and Wonderful!
Manuscripts Included in the Project
Include the Following Writers:
Thomas Chatterton - obviously,
George Catcott, Alexander Catcott, A. S. Catcott
William Barrett, Dr Fry, Dr Lort
Tyrwhitt, Richard Smith, William Blake
&c. ; oh and Horace Walpole too!
By Transcribing Chatterton's Works,
Played a Key role in Publicising Rowley
Good old George was very, very prolific.
There is No Need To Sign-up
To Join, To Enrol
To Enlist, Become a member
Form a committee, Have a Meeting
Form a Quorum.
In fact, nothing formal is required.
It matters not who you are
Or where you live.
It matters only that you have the Desire
To be part of the Project.
The Desire to Research & Investigate
A Truly Remarkable Individual
A working-class poet
Chatterton, the Bristowyan.
I have checked the Website
On mobiles, laptops, PCs & Tablets
All showing High Quality Images.
If your Images are not Sharp
On your Tablet or Mobile
You need to Select a Setting to Suit
Such as 'Desktop.'
In Truth you Should use a PC
Laptop or Tablet to get the
If you need advice
let me know via the Blog.
Yours, &c. to the end of the chapter .QE!.
In the meantime take a look at
A Chattertonian Riddle.
The Manuscript in Question
Was sold by a top Auction House
They listed it as 18th century
By an unknown hand
Now that's a Challenge Hard to Resist
And waiting to be solved!
The works are clearly Chatterton's
But who is the Scribe?
This is Just the trailer
You will be able to Read
The interesting story behind
the creation of the manuscript
Soon, I promise.
George Catcott had a role in the story
Which is no Surprise!
The Muniment Room, Redcliffe Church
From the novel Bristol Bells by Emma Marshall